The Fisher King

Melvyn Bragg and guests will be delving into the world of medieval legend in pursuit of the powerful and enigmatic Fisher King. In the world of medieval romance there are many weird and wonderful creatures – there are golden dragons and green knights, sinister enchantresses and tragic kings, strange magicians and spears that bleed and talk. And yet, in all this panoply of wonder, few figures are more mysterious than the Fisher King.Blighted by a wound that will not heal and entrusted as the keeper of the Holy; the Fisher King is also a version of Christ, a symbol of sexual anxiety and a metaphor for the decay of societies and civilisations. The Fisher King is a complex and poetic figure and has meant many things to many people. From the age of chivalry to that of psychoanalysis, his mythic even archetypal power has influenced writers from Chrétien de Troyes in the 12th century to TS Eliot in the 20th. With Carolyne Larrington, Tutor in Medieval English at St John’s College, Oxford; Stephen Knight, Distinguished Research Professor in English Literature at Cardiff University; Juliette Wood, Associate Lecturer in the Department of Welsh, Cardiff University and Director of the Folklore Society

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Thu 17 Jan 2008 21:30

Related topics

Featured in...

The In Our Time Listeners' Top 10

Hildegard of Bingen

If you’re new to In Our Time, this is a good place to start.

The Matter of the North

BBC_R4_MELVYN_BRAGG_AHW-1920.jpg

Melvyn Bragg explores the pivotal role of England's north in shaping modern Britain.

In Our Time podcasts

In Our Time podcasts

Every episode of In Our Time is available to download.

Arts and Ideas podcast

Arts and Ideas podcast

Download the best of Radio 3's Free Thinking programme.